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The MICROSOFT XBOX 360 …

You could say that the Xbox 360 is the veteran of the bunch, having launched one year ahead of the PS3 and Wii. With a full two years under its belt, the Microsoft Xbox 360 still has plenty of vigor left, complemented by a huge assortment of games to play. Contrary to popular belief, this gaming system is good for more than just first-person shooters.

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Halo 3 has to make this list. It’s inevitable. People have been waiting for Halo 3 for years and then lined up in droves to pick up a copy on launch day, only to be disappointed that the Master Chief helmet bundled in with the Legendary Edition isn’t a helmet that you can actually wear. Too bad, because Halo 3 is one kick-ass FPS game. Just like Halo 2 before it, Halo 3 has an incredible online multiplayer component. It’s time to believe. It’s time to finish the fight!

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Virtua Fighter 5 Online takes everything that the PS3 version had and adds the ability to play online. Virtua Fighter 5 is one of the most visually appealing and most technical fighting games of all time. It is also one of the top 10 best fighting games of all time. Being able to customize your character with new outfits adds near infinite replay value… and did I mention that you can play online? You can even battle it out as Rey Mysterio Jr. El Blaze?

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Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock is basically the same on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, and Nintendo Wii, but there’s a very specific reason why GH3 made the Xbox 360 list of recommended gifts this holiday season. This is because the Halo 3 theme song is available as a free download for the Xbox 360 version. If you enjoyed the first two Guitar Hero games, you’re bound to love Guitar Hero 3 as well, especially considering that it’s got songs like “Paint it Black” (Rolling Stones), “School’s Out” (Alice Cooper), and “One” (Metallica). Make sure you throw some Advil in the stocking because this one is a real hand cramper!

VIDEO GAMES MAKE A GREAT GIFT!

This holiday gift guide to the hottest video games is just the tip of the gaming iceberg. There’s no such thing as a “one size fits all” video game that will satisfy every gamer on your list. A rhythm game fanatic may not be as enthusiastic about Halo, just as an adventure junkie might not find that much value in Brain Age 2. Find out what kinds of games they like before buying what happens to be hot this year.

That said, here are a few notable mentions that didn’t quite make the list:

  • Ratchet & Clank: Future (PS3)
  • Heavenly Sword (PS3)
  • NHL 2008 (PS3)
  • Trauma Center: New Blood (Wii)
  • Battalion Wars 2 (Wii)
  • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Wii)
  • Mass Effect (Xbox 360)
  • Conan (Xbox 360)
  • Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation (Xbox 360)

So there you have it!  The best of 2007 in a nutshell for all the hot gaming platforms.  Now I just wish there were more fighting games released this year to get excited about.

Michael Kwan is a freelance writer for Futurelooks and is also the brains behind Haduken Online, a site all about fighting games, all the time. If you loved this article, then you’ll love what Michael has to say at Haduken Online!

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